Demand for formation of Bhagalpur Railway Division flares up once again ahead of Modi’s visit

Bhagalpur stationBhagalpur (BGP): Unhappy over the inordinate delay in upgrading Bhagalpur railway station to divisional railway headquarters status, the residents of Bhagalpur now pin their hope on Narendra Modi’s first visit to Bihar on July 25 after his becoming Prime Minister. They hope the PM will undo the injustice done to the region since long by setting up a railway division in Bhagalpur during his visit to Muzaffarpur on Saturday.

The demand for divisional status to Bhagalpur railway station can be traced back to the establishment of Eastern Railways in 1952. The railway division at Malda (West Bengal), under which Bhagalpur railway station comes, was created in 1984. Bhagalpur railway station is the highest revenue earner under Malda railway division. Taking the fact into consideration, the then railway minister Lalu Prasad (in UPA-I government) had laid foundation of railway division in Bhagalpur on March 1, 2009. Prasad had announced that the railways will spend Rs 2 crore on the project. An officer-on-special duty (OSD) was also posted to look after development works related to the proposed railway division.

But, after the change of guards in the ministry of railways (that went to Trinamool Congressbetween May 2009 to September 2012 in UPA-II government), work related to the proposed railway division at Bhagalpur came to standstill.

The officials so posted were also withdrawn subsequently. Hopes of the people of the region were rekindled when the minister of state for railways Adhir Ranjan Chowdhary visited Bhagalpur in December 2012 and categorically pronounced that the division will become a reality as envisaged by then railway minister Lalu Prasad. Chowdhary reiterated his commitment for the same during his second official visit on November 27, 2013 but in vain.

If at all PM Narendra Modi cares enough for Bihar, he should immediately take steps to rectify the injustice done to Bhagalpur region since 1984 and announce railway division at Bhagalpur, said social activist Zeejah Hussain adding it will add to the stature of PM who appears to be development-oriented. IMA president Dr Shailesh Chandra Jha also echoed similar views. “We hope PM Modi does justice to the region by announcing divisional status to Bhagalpur railway station,” said a businessman Binod Agarwal.

BJP national spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain says the issue is pertinent for the people of this region.